The former Minister of Culture jair perez assured that Dina Boluarte never responded when he asked for explanations for the deaths in Ayacucho and that in Pedro Angulo’s cabinet there were authoritative voices against the demonstrations. He maintained that, now, with 50 deaths, the most viable way out is the resignation of the president and general elections.
— You were one of the first to resign in the face of the deaths in Ayacucho, how did the Executive live the moments prior to your departure?
— That cabinet took office in the midst of the demonstrations against Dina Boluarte.
– Everything went very fast. I met the cabinet ministers on the day of the inauguration. That day I also met the premier Pedro Angle. We were sworn in on Saturday, December 10 at 1:00 pm, and on Sunday at 10:00 pm we had the first Council of Ministers. That day there were already two deaths in the protests. In that session they discussed the early elections on the initiative of the president, which some of us welcome and others do not, since they had the idea of continuing until 2026.
— What happened after the first two deaths?
— On Sunday, December 11, Minister Patricia Correa requests that the National Agreement, but an enlarged one. On Tuesday the 13th, there is another Minister council and by then there were at least five more deaths. The session was convened at 11:00 pm and lasted until 2:00 am The declaration of the state of emergency and it was decided that it would go nationally for eight days.
— Was there always the intention to act forcefully?
— From the first Sunday (the 11th), there were voices that appealed to a look linked to the authoritarianismwith phrases like “we are at war” and “we have to go with everything”in a confrontational way.
— Did the increase in the number of deaths alter something in the Executive?
— The following day (Wednesday the 14th) at 8:00 a.m. were the ordinary councils, we attended a normal work agenda and at the end of the day They present us with the project on the state of emergency, but no longer for eight days, but for 30 days.
— Was the state of emergency only extended from eight to 30 days?
— I requested to prepare a bill for a citizen consultation on a new constitution, but it was rejected and on the night of December 14 a state of emergency was declared. The answer was the actions of Thursday, December 15 in Ayacucho, which produced a preliminary balance of seven deaths.
— You are close to Ayacucho, how did the authorities experience those moments?
— When they take the airport at 2:00 pm I start talking to the outgoing and incoming authorities. At 5:00 pm they pass me the videos where soldiers are seen shooting people’s bodies, horizontally. So a meeting was called at 7:00 pm by zoom with all the authorities.
— Before the videos of military attacks on civilians, what was the reaction of the ministers?
— I passed the images of military attacks on civilians in Ayacucho through the ministers’ chat we had and there were no answers. In that chat, the Minister of Education asked the Defense and Interior officials for an explanation about these images, but there was no response either.
— What did they do before it?
— With Patricia Correa we decided to look for that answer in the president. We went to her office on Thursday at 10:00 pm and asked her for an explanation. We suggest that you apologize to the people of Ayacucho with a message to the nation, that removes the Ministers of the Interior, Defense and the Prime Minister because they are politically responsible, and that those responsible for the massacre be identified.
— Didn’t you answer anything specific?
— He told us that the next day we would meet with the Ministers of Defense and the Interior to find a solution. We felt it was not an answer, it was discouraging and we decided the next day to submit our letters of resignation.
— His resignation was in person, did nobody know his decision?
– We went to Palace with the idea of forcing a way out of the crisis with our resignation before Dina Boluartebut he did not want to attend to us and we decided not to move from his office. The president was preparing to go to the Chorrillos School, at the end of the year. Finally, we went into the office and personally presented our letters of resignation to her, and she accepted us. At that time, we asked her not to go to the Chorrillos School, as that could be interpreted as a provocation, but there was no favorable response to our request. A month has passed since the tragedy in Ayacucho and there are no explanations, nor a sincere request for forgiveness.
— When they resigned there were more than 10 deaths, but now there are 50 and the ministers are almost the same.
— We are four ministers who resigned, the rest have been changes, let’s say that they have taken away their confidence. I believe that this cabinet has totally lost legitimacy with these deaths.
— The situation seems untenable, do you think Dina Boluarte should resign?
— I think that this is a way out, but a lot of political will is needed to do it. The resignation of the president would speed up the elections, although it is also necessary that the board of directors in the Congress be one of consensus that allows us to have early elections as soon as possible. The electoral authorities have commented that Yes, it is possible to hold elections in five months.